The fundamentals haven’t changed much. You’re still killing as many enemy characters as you can. And you’re supposed to die as little as possible, of course.
You’ve got extensive freedom when it comes to your character’s looks. You can, for example, change the head, head gear, body build, and uniform your soldier wears.
You can, at last, choose to play as female characters. Well, it’s certainly not too soon for that.
I think it’s a bit strange that it’s only now – in 2013 – that a sort of equality is seeping into the world’s most popular first person shooter.
In 2010, I read somewhere that 17% of all Call of Duty players were women. I don’t think that number’s any smaller today.
So it’s high time that women enter Call of Duty in the game itself, too.
Play like Simon “Ghost” Riley
You can customize your character to look like one of the coolest characters in the history of gaming ever: Lt. Simon “Ghost” Riley.
Create a Class = Create a Soldier
Infinity Ward’s no longer on about classes. The new word is “Soldier”.
In Ghosts online, every player gets their own Squad. Your Squad consists of 10 soldiers. Each of these 10 soldiers has their own appearance, unlocks, load outs, and prestige.
When you play with one of your soldiers, it earns XP. When you’ve got enough XP, the soldier will reach prestige level. Each soldier can do this once.
And what does that give us, children? 10 soldiers x 1 prestige = 10 prestige levels. Very well done.
And yes – your soldier keeps everything it’s unlocked when it’s prestiged.
Squad Points and Unlocks
You can decide for yourself which order you want to unlock different stuff in.
In previous games, you had to wait until you’d reached a certain level to unlock, say, an AK-47.
In Ghosts, you can unlock anything, at any time, as long as you’ve got enough Squad Points for it.
Weapons, Attachments and Perks
Each soldier has a limit, or a budget if you will, which determines how many weapons, grenades, and perks it can make use of.
Wanna use more perks? That’s fine. But then you’ll have to sacrifice a grenade, or possibly your secondary weapon.
And that goes the other way, too – if you want your soldier to have as many weapons and grenades as possible, you’re no longer able to use as many perks.
The weapons’ attachments aren’t included in your budget. They’re freebies.
- Your main weapon has four slots that you can fill with different attachments.
- Your secondary weapon has two slots to fill.
Here’s how perks work:
- Each perk has a set value – from 1 to 5 points.
- To start off, you’ve got 8 points to use on perks.
- You can pick 8 perks, all of them worth 1 point; 4 2-point perks; a 5-point perk and a 3-point perk; and so on. The total can’t exceed 8.
- You can also say goodbye to your secondary weapons or grenades. Thus you’ll have an additional 3 points to use for perks, so a total of 11.
Dynamic Map Events
All the maps in Call of Duty: Ghosts contains one or more dynamic elements. Some of these are player triggered. Others are programmed.
You can use a range of these elements to your advantage – for setting traps, for example.
Perhaps you’ve seen the clip where the bus plummets down into the abyss? Finding yourself on that bus when an opponent makes it fall down is not a particularly smart move.
You can destroy more of your surroundings than in previous titles. You can, for example, make holes in your opponents’ cover, make new lines of sight, or blast holes in walls to create new routes.
You can also destroy everything existing on a map with the help of kill streaks. In these cases, the destruction becomes so extensive that the look of the map is completely changed.
In previous Call of Duty titles it was common knowledge: you must learn the maps!
Now this phrase has a whole new meaning. Not only do you have to learn the maps – you’ll also need to learn what they can do and what you can do with them.
New Game Modes
Infinity Ward’s introduced a range of new game modes in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Here are some of them:
This is a version of Capture the Flag. But instead of flags, a portal’s the target.
Each team has a portal placed in their home base. You score points every time you can get to your opponents’ base and jump through their portal.
As soon as you’ve jumped into the portal, you’re teleported back to your side of the map, a couple points richer.
The goal here, in other words, is to jump through their portal as often as possible, and keep unfriendlies from jumping through yours.
This mode brings Team Deathmatch to mind. But there are twists.
When you score a kill, your movements, your reload time, and ADS (Aim Down Sight) get faster.
– Whoopeeee! I hear some say.
Not so fast. There’s a hitch.
Out of the blue, a countdown clock shows up on your screen. And let’s just say it’s not counting down to the unveiling of the series’ next installment.
If you haven’t managed to kill a single opponent before the timer reaches zero, you’ll explode!
The team with the most points and fewest kamikaze soldiers wins.
Search and Rescue (S&R)
This mode’s a kind of mix between Search and Destroy (S&D) and Kill Confirmed.
If your character dies in a round of S&D it’s game over. You won’t respawn until the next round’s up.
It doesn’t necessarily go like this in S&R:
- When your character dies, it leaves a dog tag.
- If one of your teammates captures the tag, your character rises from the dead.
- If an opponent captures your tag, however, your character will remain dead until the end of the round.
So, to succeed in S&R you and your team will have to concentrate both on the objective AND capturing as many dog tags as possible – both from allies and unfriendlies.
A Squad isn’t just your collection of 10 soldiers. Squads is a collection of game modes, too.
You can bring your Squad to fight against AI controlled opponents or other, real life players – online or offline.
The progress in Squads counts in multiplayer. You will, in other words, earn XP and rank up by playing Squads.
Don’t think your AI friends (and not-so-much friends) are second degree players just ‘cause they’re controlled by a machine. Infinity Ward’s been hard at work to make sure the programmed characters act like characters controlled by people do.
Video Break: Squads Mode Explained
There are several gameplay modes to choose from in Squads:
Squad vs. Squad
Here, you play against another player – one on one. Your Squad acts as your teammates.
In this mode, you choose five soldiers from your Squad. Together, you go head to head against a team comprised of programmed opponents.
You can play Wargame in all game modes available in multiplayer.
This mode is based off Survival, which you may remember from Modern Warfare 3. Here, you can play with three friends.
This can be played solo or with up to five friends. You can choose to play against Squads put together by random players from around the world, or one of your friends’ Squads.
Wanna work on your skills before playing against real human beings in multiplayer? Play a few rounds of Squads first. The mode’s a most excellent school for aspiring Ghosts players.
New Kill Streaks
Ghosts online contains more than 20 new kill streaks. Here’s some of them:
- Juggernaut Maniac – You get a Juggernaut suit threaded over your head. With it, you can run around at high speed and knife opponents.
- Helo Sniper – You can provide your team with sniper support from a chopper.
- Vulture – A drone equipped with a light machine gun.
- Quadrotor – A drone you can control yourself. Shoots explosives.
- Oracle – Makes your character practically invisible to other players.
- Odin Strike – So, this one’s obviously named after Norse mythology. You can get it via Field Orders care packages on the map Strikezone. An Odin Strike turns the map from somewhat intact surroundings into ruins.
Infinity Ward’s reduced the number of air-borne kill streaks in exchange for more ground-based ones.
- The con is that hostiles no longer need specific weapons, like rocket launchers, to destroy it.
- The pro is that you can easily hide it so that no unfriendlies find it.
Riley – The Dog
Riley, ladies and gentlemen! Riley can quickly become your best friend (it’s in his nature – man’s best friend and all that, you know).
Riley’s a German shepherd with an astounding loyalty to his master. He bites like a bad day at work and has an enormous appetite for enemies.
And as if that wasn’t enough, he even growls when there are enemies close by. Good dog!
Riley the Dog is also one of the new Kill Streaks in Ghosts. You need five kills to release him. When he’s released, he’ll follow you around the map – until he’s killed, anyway. Wonder what PETA will have to say about that…
Field orders show up on all maps and in all modes. They appear in the form of a briefcase.
If you capture one of these briefcases, you’ll receive an assignment. These vary, and range from easy to hard.
Here are some examples:
- Kill 3 hostiles with a knife.
- Kill another character with your secondary weapon.
- Shoot someone in the back.
Your character can lean to the side. You can place it in front of a wall. There, it can lean to one of the sides, so that you’re able to see what’s going on the other side.
Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work everywhere.
Dolphin dives don’t exist in Ghosts online. Knee sliding does. You can sprint, and then force your character down to its knees, so that it slides a little way forward. Definitely helps in dodging a bullet or two.
Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer contains a whole new range of weapons. Among others, there’s a brand new weapon class: marksman rifles.
This type of weapon’s something of a mix between assault and sniper rifles. You can use them as semi-automatic sniper rifles, or like (powerful) single-shot assault rifles.
The weapons in this class only fire one bullet at a time. The bright side’s that they’re so powerful that one shot to the head is enough to kill off your hostile.
How’s your aim? That good, huh? Well, then you should definitely consider going a couple of rounds with this type of weapon.
Are you old enough to remember Call of Duty 1? (I am.) Then you might remember the M1?
The marksman rifles in Ghosts are fairly similar. You need skills to master them. But my, oh my, is it satisfying to kill off an enemy with just one shot to the head.
Dual Render Scope
When looking into a telescopic sight in previous Call of Duty titles, your side vision disappears. You see through the sight, and the sight alone, and can’t pick up on whatever’s going on around you. The minimap disappears, too.
In Ghosts, the sight no longer covers your entire screen. You can still look both left and right, even though what you see outside of the sight’s blurry.
And you’ll still see the minimap, even when you’re looking through the sight.
Video: Dual Render Scope Explained
(Fast forward to about 50 seconds)
Xbox Live Cloud – Dedicated Servers
Dedicated servers have been on top of the wish list for a lot of CoD players for many, many years. Finally, the community will have their wishes fulfilled now.
Xbox Live Cloud utilizes Microsoft’s Azure network. This means that more than 300,000 servers all around the world host Ghosts matches.
– What’re the advantages of dedicated servers? you ask.
Here are some:
- Host migrations don’t exist.
- More console memory is used to run the game.
- No more host advantage, or disadvantage.
- Faster matchmaking.
Infinity Ward has improved Call of Duty’s reverb engine for Ghosts.
– Come again?
OK. Not everyone reads Audio Processing Weekly. (Don’t feel bad – no one can know everything).
Here’s the short version: the sound in Ghosts is more credible than in previous games.
When you fire your weapon in a small room with a lot of carpets (for example), the sound will be more muffled, and have less of an echo than when you shoot in a larger room.
This can be used to your advantage. As you get to know the game and maps, you’ll be able to decide where a weapon’s being fired, simply by listening to its sound.
Locational Battle Chatter
You won’t only hear voices telling you that someone in your team killed an enemy or threw a grenade in Ghosts.
You’ll also be notified that enemies are approaching different landmarks – e.g. “They’re coming through the back entrance,” and “Target sighted on that bridge!”
No Theatre Mode
You can’t record gameplay clips like you can in both Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 3. Infinity Ward leaves this up to the internal video recorder in Xbox One and PlayStation 4. (Sorry, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners…)